the fashion institute of design and merchandising


Peggy: As Kidada grew older, it became clear that she wouldn’t be comfortable unless she was around kids who looked more like her. So I searched for a private school that had a good proportion of black students, and when she was 12, I found one.

Kidada: That changed everything. I’d go to my black girlfriends’ houses and–I wanted their life! I lived in a gated house in a gated neighborhood, where playdates were: “My security will call your security.” Going to my black friends’ houses, I saw a world that was warm and real, where families sat down for dinner together. At our house, Rashida and I often ate dinner on trays, watching TV in Anna’s room, because our dada was composing and performing at night and Mom sat in on his sessions.

Rashida: At this time, anyone looking at Kidada and me would have seen two very different girls. I wore my navy blue jumper and crisp white blouse; K wore baggy Adidas sweatsuits and door-knocker earrings. My life was school, school, school. I’m with Bill Cosby: It’s every bit as black as it is white to be a nerd with a book in your hand. 

Kidada: The fact that Rashida was good at school while I was dyslexic intimidated me and pushed me more into my defiant role. I was ditching classes and going to clubs.

Rashida: About this time, Kidada was replacing me with younger girls from Fairfax who she could lead and be friends with.

Kidada: They were my little sisters, as far as I was concerned. After I graduated from high school, I found my passion: trend forecasting. I enrolled at L.A.’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and my academic problems went out the window. All it took was finding something I loved for me to get A’s! While I was there, designer Tommy Hilfiger noticed a cover of Vibe magazine I had styled. He offered me a job in New York, being his muse, and he left me work in every part of his company–designing, marketing, advertising, modeling. Tommy got urban music. I was working with the hottest hip-hop acts: TLC, Snoop Dogg, Usher.

While Rashida was going to Jewish religious services with her boyfriend, Kidada found a new “little sister” in the young singer Aaliyah.

Kidada: Aaliyah and I talked on the phone dozens of times a day if we weren’t together. I never bought one of anything–I bought one for me and one for Aaliyah. So did she.

Rashida: But instead of bonding with Kidada, I rejected her–not because I wanted to, but because my boyfriend was telling me not to be dominated by my older sister. My boyfriend didn’t want me to be at Kidada’s 25th birthday party, so I skipped it. When I called her to apologize, she was so beyond anger, she murmured, “Whatever.”

Kidada: That hurt. A lot. But I had Aaliyah.

Peggy: I loved watching Kidada and Aaliyah together. They were going to be lifelong best friends. They wanted to get married in a double wedding, have their first kids together.
Rashida: When I heard about Aaliyah’s death, I dropped everything and went straight to L.A. Kidada collapsed in my arms. She said, “Now you’re going to have to step in and be my little sister.” I said, “I’m ready.” Being together during Kidada’s must vulnerable time made us realize we were irreplaceable to each other.

What to know about being a Fashion Student

What people will say when you tell them you’re studying fashion

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They’ll then assume that you want to be a designer

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Not everyone who studies fashion is a designer. There are stylists, buyers, CEO’s, publicists, journalists, marketing analysts, social media managers, the list goes on..

They will probably assume you have the intelligence level of a goat.

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And when they do you tell them this

We’re not rocket scientists, but we take calculus classes, statistics, economics, etc. The fashion industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. You think it’s run by idiots?

However there are times where you’ll walk into a class like

Not so bright people are everywhere, in fashion and elsewhere. If you find yourself surrounded by an astounding number of them, sit back and enjoy the probably rare moment that you’re the smartest person in the room. 

According to our Instagrams this is what we do on the weekend.

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But this is probably what we’re actually doing on the weekend.

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Working, going to school, interning, it’s all tiring and by the end of the week your bed is just about the only place you want to be. 

How people think we all talk all the time

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How we actually talk

How people think we look going to class

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And yeah some girls do look like this, but then theres the other 50% who look like this

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Sweatpants are never something to be ashamed of.

How people think we spend our Friday nights

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How we actually spend our Friday nights

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Going out is expensive. Especially if you’re going to school in a big city like New York. Most of the time its easier and wayy cheaper to just bring the party inside. Which brings me to my next point:

People will assume you shop all the time. 

No. We’re just like other college students

People will think these are the guys you get to date

But really if we can find just one single, straight, remotely aesthetically pleasing guy we be like

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Oh and everyone will assume you’re on some kind of diet

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But its a lie

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Kick-Ass Chicks: Summer Meddock

We’ve been lusting over Summer Meddock’s perfectly curated Instagram filled with dreamy spaces and places she’s created— not to mention her epic collection of Vans she’s got going on too! No, but seriously… take one look and you’ll be drawn in (consider yourselves warned)! We caught up with Summer to talk about how her love with interior design came to be and advice for aspiring interior designers that you just have to read.

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Our Top 10 Fashion Colleges 

Ever heard the saying “You know when you know?” Usually it pertains to love or finding ‘the one.’ Well, the same is with college, you have to find the one after so many choices but you will know when you know! 

1. Parsons, The New School of Design 

Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion studies, Fashion Marketing

Students: undergrads, 4,191; graduate, 555

Tuition: $38,510

Alumni: Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Narisco Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Jenna Lyons of J.Crew, Anna Sui, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung (only to name a few.)

Fun Fact: Parsons is an aspiring fashion designer’s dream! I’m sure you know of Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan and their amazing collections. Well, how would you like it if they were your teacher for a couple days? These events are common in the New York City’s best design school. They have collaborations with the fashion house LVMH. 

2. Fashion Institute of Technology

Programs: anything from fashion merchandising to media arts

Students: 10,386

Tuition: $5,168 for NYC residents, $13,550 out-of-state

Alumni: Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Nanette Lepore

Fun Fact: I visited FIT in the Fall and it was an extremely impressive school. Your career after FIT is pretty much set up for you after you graduate. You will definitely leave will a job. 

3. Pratt

Programs: Fashion design

Students: 2,100

Tuition: $37,500

Alumni: Jeremy Scott, Betsey Johnson

Fun Fact: It is an up-and-coming design school located in Brooklyn, New York. It is part of a larger art school and is one of the few design programs that offer fashion editorializing and magazine publishing. 

4. Kent State University

Programs: Design and Merchandising 

Students: 18,000; 800 are fashion students

Tuition: Ohio resident: $9,030, for out-of-state, $16,900

Fun Fact: They have a garment center in NYC and is starting to become quite famous. They have a huge endowment, study abroad programs in Paris and Milan. You will be able to study fashion and get a full college experience. 

5. Academy of Art 

Programs: Fashion Design, Knitwear Design, Textile Design, Fashion Journalism and Fashion Merchandising and Marketing

Students: 17,000; 2,700 are fashion

Tuition: $17,760

Fun Fact: Located in sunny San Francisco and have a show in New York Fashion Week. 

6. The Savannah College of Art and Design 

Programs: Fashion design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Accessories Design

Students: 9,800; 940 fashion students

Tuition: $30,510

Fun Fact: Only school to have Luxury and Fashion Management program. And it’s not only a fashion school but, an excellent art college. Located in Savannah, Georgia.

7. Drexel Univeristy

Programs: Fashion Design, Design and Merchandising 

Students: 2,800 art and design students, 120 fashion students, 260 Design and Merchandising

Tuition: $39,700

Fun Fact: Philadelphia’s university also offers a sophomore year opportunity when you can study abroad in London School of Fashion, and many alumni have gotten successful jobs in France in their field. 

8. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising 

Programs: Fashion Design, Footwear Design, Costume Design, Jewelry Design, Textile Design, Merchandising (Fashion & Beauty Programs)

Students: 8,000

Tuition: $27,000-$36,000 depending on area of study

Alumni: Monique Lhuillier, Pamela Skaist-Levy

Fun Fact: Los Angeles’s has beauty programs and is in the heart of the city of angels. 

9. California College of the Arts 

Programs: Fashion Design, Textiles, Jewelry Design 

Students: 1,640; 65 fashion students 

Tuition: $36,960

Fun Fact: This college has two locations; one in San Francisco and one in Oakland, California. This is a CFDA affiliated school and is known for their prestigious awards and the fashion world’s favoritism. 

10. Labratory Institute of Merchandising

Programs: International Business, Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing and Management 

Students: 1,508

Tuition: $23,070

Almuni: Rea Laccone, CEO of Vince 

Fun Fact: New York City’s college requires internships three out of the four years. Freshman and sophomore years required 300 hours of retail. They have several concentrations of many jobs that will be helpful in many fields. 

Part Two: How to Play a Fashion Designer

Fashion is one of the most glamorized industries - movies portray fashion designers as fabulous, large life-living, gorgeous girls who spend all day drawing and looking at fabrics. And while some of that is true, the majority of what a fashion designer does is very different from that. No, fashion design isn’t Project Runway. As a fashion designer myself, I’ve put together a guide to help any rper who’s playing a fashion designer - it’s one of my biggest pet peeves to see an unrealistic, and frankly, annoying fashionista. I hope this is helpful! This is Part Two, and Part One, which covers living in Manhattan, can be found here.

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Your Kids With Each of the Boys.


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Nathan McCall. 15.  Twins with Nicholas. Dates Hannah. Friends with Aaron and Justin. Plays Soccer. Makes YouTube videos of him singing. Plans to move to Los Angeles when he graduates from high school. 

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Nicholas McCall. 15. Twins with Nathan. Friends with Aaron and Justin. Runs track and is on swim team. Wants to be a web developer when he grows up.

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Janelle McCall. 14. Friends with Rachel and Felicia. Enjoys listening to pop music. Wants to be a fashion model when she grows up. 

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Joseph McCall. 1. 


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Benjamin/Ben Stilinski. 17. Friends with Connor and Jonah. Class president. Straight-A student. Plays soccer and baseball. Works at Starbucks. Wants to be an architect. Will be attending Princeton University on an academic scholarship. 

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Hannah Stilinski. 16. Dates Nathan. Friends with Cheyanne, Macie and Justin. Likes photography. Works at the local animal shelter. Wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. 

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Molly Stilinski. 2.


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Connor Lahey. 17. Friends with Ben and Jonah. Wrestles and plays football and baseball. Doesn’t do to well in school. Works as a car wash attendant. Wants to be a physical therapist. Will be attending the University of Boston on an athletic scholarship. 

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Cheyanne Lahey. 15. Friends with Hannah and Macie. Dates Aaron. Cheerleads and is in the drama club. Babysits. Wants to be a registered nurse when she is older. 

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Caleb Lahey. 7. 

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Chloe Lahey. 4. 


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Jonah Hale. 18. Friends with Connor and Ben. Has a band that plays indie rock music. Works at an auto repair shop. Wants to move out of Beacon Hills after graduation and take his band to New York. 

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Macie Hale. 16. Friends with Hannah and Cheyanne. Enjoys pop punk music. Vegetarian. Wants travel after high school. 


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Justin Whittemore. 16. Friends with Nathan, Nicholas, Aaron and Hannah. Plays soccer and runs track. Apart of Student Government.  Works at the local animal shelter. Wants to be a dentist when he grows up.

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Rachel Whittemore. 14. Friends with Janelle and Felicia. Is on the newspaper and yearbook staff. Wants to be a journalist when she is older. 

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Lewis Whittemore. 12. Plays basketball. Plays drums, saxophone and clarinet. Wants to be a teacher when he is older. 


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Aaron. 16. Dates Cheyanne. Friends with Nathan and Nicholas. Plays football. Very family oriented. Wants to be an FBI agent when he grows up. 

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Quinn. 5. 


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Caroline Hale. 22. Is studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She hopes to attend New York Fashion Week this year. She interns at Prada. 

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Felicia Hale. 13. Friends with Janelle and Rachel. Cheerleads. Plays piano. Wants to be a chef. 

Ethan and Danny’s Adopted Daughter Chelsea:

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Once Upon A Time’s costumes this year at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum in their Television Costumes Gallery. 

The costumes are: Maleficent’s tattered gown (Enter The Dragon), Zelena’s Wicked Witch costume (Various), The Sorcerer’s robes (Various), The Snow Queen’s gown (Various), Young Ursula’s dress (Poor Unfortunate Soul), Rumplestiltskin’s outfit (Darkness On The Edge of Town) and Regina’s Evil Queen dress (Various.)